How To Browse The Web Securely When Dealing With Crypto

a person holding a phone to demonstrate secure browsing when using crypto

If your browser is insecure, your cryptocurrency can be stolen. That will be heartbreaking for anyone, not just only those with a ton of coins. This illegal practice is known as crypto-jacking – fraudsters install malware on your device to steal your crypto.

Such a program mines for bitcoins or steals cryptocurrency from wallets when the unsuspecting victims access their wallets.

That’s scary, which is why I wrote this article. In this article, you’ll learn secure internet browsing when using cryptocurrency, be it wallets, exchanges, yield farming platforms like Ubeswap, and others.

How Web Browsers Can Cause Threat with Cryptocurrencies

Whenever you access the internet from any device, you open yourself up to attacks. Whether it’s a wrongly clicked link that gets malware on your system or some kind of virus that copies whatever you type on your computer, including private keys, which is another reason I always advocate for a hardware wallet.

Some are even more stealthy, making you think you are on the right website when you are not leading you to send your bitcoin or another cryptocurrency to the wrong address. It may even be an automated debit that you don’t notice.

How To Know If Your Computer Is Cryptojacked

If your computer suddenly becomes slow or your battery drains unusually quickly due to the demand on your CPU, you may have been hacked. 

How do you know? Below is the real gist.

Click “Processes” in your Windows Task Manager or macOS Activity Monitor. You can shut down and restart your browser if it appears to be working overtime. 

Regrettably, this does not reveal which website was responsible for the browser mining script. Not to mention, cybercriminals are making it more difficult to detect their activities. New crypto mining programs scale back to as little as 20% CPU usage, making them more difficult to track than prior scripts.

Malware can be detected via virus and malware checks, but that is only one fraction of the many ways to steal crypto.

In all, the old saying rings true in this situation, which is “prevention is better than cure.”

Can Accepting Cookies On Your Browser Make You Lose Access To Your Wallets?

Normally, no. The aim of cookies is usually advertising and personalization.

If you’re not sure what cookies are, I will explain. The majority of the time, when people talk about cookies, they’re talking about delicious baked delicacies. However, when IT experts discuss cookies, we’re talking about the internet. The term “cookies” refers to little data files that contain text strings in this context.

A cookie is sent to your web browser when you connect to a website through its web server. When you visit that website again, the browser will send the cookie back to the server. These cookies are used on the internet because they allow websites to engage with visitors more personally.

Let’s say you purchase shoes from an internet merchant. The retailer’s web server will assign you an identity (ID) number. The web server will provide you with an ID number in a cookie and store it in a database.

An almost similar thing happens when you visit any of your crypto websites. In simple terms, your web browser will send this cookie back to the online retailer’s web server the next time you visit the retailer’s website. 

After that, the web server will customize the page that it displays for you. In this situation, it may show shoes that are identical to the ones you purchased previously. 

Because of this personalization, internet advertising companies no longer need to broadcast the same ads repeatedly. It also implies that you can save your preferences for a certain website.

Although cookies are supposedly safe, a criminal can access your crypto if you accept them on a malicious website.

How Cybercriminals Use Cookies With Bitcoin Mining

The cookies themselves are completely safe. On the other hand, cybercriminals can use them to impersonate you online and get access to your accounts. 

Cybercriminals can distribute malware and trick you into accessing harmful websites by concealing code in stolen cookies. Unfortunately, cybercriminals can also use cookies to make websites appear unavailable to web browsers.

As previously stated, when you return to a website, your web browser sends a cookie back to the website’s web server. A cybercriminal can change this cookie to send hundreds of cookies to the webserver instead of only one.

The server shuts the connection when the cookie data exceeds the limit established in the connection configuration. Until you delete your cookies, you will not be able to access the website.

Malware That Access Your Financial Information

a person watching a hacker on their desktop to show the effect of not having secure browsing when using crypto

If not effectively secured against, malicious programs can spread swiftly and wreak massive damage.

While blockchain technology is extremely secure, with only a few successful attacks in the past, malware can still steal bitcoin from users by targeting other areas.

Malware is getting smarter, with some programs able to duplicate and control domains and track Bitcoin transactions. As a result, it’s critical to understand the various sorts of dangerous applications and attacks that exist and how to defend yourself properly and browse the web safely.

Below is the dropdown of some common malware that attacks your crypto wallets.

Ransomware

Cybercriminals utilize ransomware as a sort of malware. If ransomware infects a computer or network, it disables the system’s access or encrypts its data.

In exchange for releasing the data, cybercriminals demand ransom money from their targets. A close eye and security software are recommended to protect against ransomware invasion.

After being infected with malware, victims have three options: pay the ransom, try to remove the software, or reset the device.

There are different kinds of ransomware that are quite popular:

1. Locker Ransomware

Locker ransomware is a type of ransomware that encrypts files. Malware of this type disables important computer functions. You may, for example, be denied access to your keyboard or desktop.

It forces you to interact with the ransom demand window to pay the ransom. Aside from that, the computer is completely unusable. However, there is some good news: Locker malware rarely targets essential files, preferring instead to shut you out. 

As a result, complete data destruction is unlikely.

2. Crypto Ransomware

Crypto ransomware’s purpose is to encrypt your vital data, such as emails, photos, and videos, but not disrupt your computer’s core functioning.

Since people can see their files but not access them, this causes panic.

“If you don’t pay the money by the deadline, all of your files will be erased, and your bitcoin security is gone,” is the usual line by these hackers.

Crypto ransomware can be disastrous because many users are unaware of the necessity for backups in the cloud or other external physical storage devices. As a result, many victims pay the ransom to regain access to their information.

The Joker Malware

The ‘Joker’ malware hides in various Google Play Store apps, and users are unaware until their bank accounts and cryptocurrency wallets are wiped. 

In 2017, the ‘Joker’ malware made headlines for infecting and scamming people while hidden in several apps. Since then, Google Play Store defensive systems have identified and eliminated over 1,700 applications that contain the ‘Joker’ malware. 

The ‘Joker’ virus was discovered in 24 Android applications in September 2020, with over 500 thousand downloads before being deactivated. It has affected more than 30 countries, including the United States, Brazil, and Spain. 

How Does The Joker Virus Manipulate Your Wallet?

The ‘Joker’ Trojan virus is part of the Bread malware family, which aims to hijack cell phone bills, device security, and allow operations without the user’s knowledge. This virus is very dangerous because it automatically puts the affected user in paid services without their knowledge. 

Victims of ‘Joker’ are frequently unaware of the theft until they thoroughly analyze their account statement and bank transactions.

This is because your financial institution does not suspect an obviously “normal” subscription, and the costs are typically so little that they are not noticed as odd movements; therefore, the account holder does not receive a debit alert in their wallet.

Users who use their phones to access cryptocurrency wallets should check to see if they have any of these applications installed on their phones and delete them immediately.

How To Stop Crypto Mining In Your Web Browsers

Manually detecting cyberattacks is becoming increasingly difficult because of the advanced tools they use. Nevertheless, you can take precautionary measures to decrease your exposure and vulnerability to browser-based attacks and deal with crypto on your browser.

Security Of Your Wallet From Malware

If you notice that a computer you own is reacting slower than usual, or if you keep getting pop-up messages, spam, or malfunctions, it may be infected with malware.

Use sophisticated anti-virus software and avoid downloading files attached to suspicious email messages as two sure-fire strategies to protect yourself from dangerous software.

Also, keep a watch out for any of the potential assaults and malware outlined above.

What Browser Should You Use When Browsing Crypto?

A range of browser extensions or plugins is available for cryptocurrency users, varying from price trackers to security and privacy tools.

Cryptocurrency users can enjoy a wide range of browser extensions, which are sometimes even required. Many of them are supported by popular browsers, including Brave browser, which is free.

As an individual with a cryptocurrency wallet like Ethereum or Bitcoin, it is important to have some browser extensions installed with your web browser because of security.

Can You Be Anonymous With a Brave Browser?

Many people believe Incognito mode is equivalent to using a private browser.  However, unless that private mode is designed to keep you anonymous on the internet, it is completely useless to keep your online activities hidden.

Other web browsers’ incognito mode can’t protect you from trackers because there aren’t any built-in barriers.

Brave works and thanks to a private mode that lets you browse anonymously, both from other users of your device and from the web pages you visit.

Brave takes a different strategy for being anonymous and secure on the web when dealing with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Third-party trackers that use your IP address to fingerprint you are immediately banned by Brave. Unwanted advertisements are likewise blocked, and Brave Shields automatically upgrades your Internet security to HTTPS wherever available.

Brave has two other options when it comes to incognito mode. Private Windows, like Incognito mode, will delete your cookies and saved site data after each session.

Your normal internet connection with Brave is routed through the Tor network, which ensures that each step is anonymous. Tor’s Private Window makes it incredibly impossible for anyone to track your IP, allowing you to browse in complete privacy.

While other browsers’ incognito mode does not protect your IP address, Brave’s Private Window with Tor does.

How To Secure Your Crypto Using Web Extensions

Adblock Plus, for example, is one of the most popular ad blockers, with over 10 million users using it to block adverts they encounter on the internet. It gives cryptocurrency users more privacy and security by eliminating ad-delivered viruses and preventing ad-based tracking, among other things.

Privacy Badger is another handy plugin that automatically blocks invisible trackers and disables outgoing link click monitoring.

Other browser extensions disable crypto-mining programs, preventing hackers from exploiting your computer’s resources to mine cryptocurrency.

Miner block is an addon that blocks mining scripts using two different ways. One is based on blocking requests or scripts loaded from a blacklist, while the other identifies and eliminates probable mining activities within loaded scripts.

Keys And Tips For Safe Browsing Habits

Here are some behaviors for more secure and private browsing when dealing with cryptocurrencies, in addition to using a secure and safe browser.

Tip #1: Remember To Keep Your Gadgets Safe

The first tip is to keep your gadgets safe if you are concerned about your Bitcoin security.

  • Use a browser like Brave
  • Check for viruses and malware often
  • Don’t store your private keys on your computer
  • Use a trusted hardware wallet to store your cryptocurrency
  • Verify public addresses before sending a ton of money

Tip #2: Be Mindful Of Password Managers In Browsers

Depending on whatever browser you’re using to access your crypto wallet, storing your passwords in your browser can be unsafe. Your passwords are saved in cleartext the majority of the time. Beware!

Internet access with a trusted VPN may provide some protection when using crypto services or a wallet or software for any kind of transaction.

Conclusion

A secure browser can assist you in minimizing risks, increase web security and protection from internet threats. Ensure you follow the other tips for browsing the web securely, especially those listed under “tip #1”.

I also advocate using a reliable VPN and practicing safe browsing practices in addition to your secure browser for maximum security.

Let me know your experiences and questions with cybersecurity and cryptocurrency in the comments. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog by using the form below.

Get exclusive insights

Get exclusive insights that are only for the Passive Streams community

About the author

Leave your comment

Leave a Reply

Subscribe

Sign up for weekly tips on how to make free money.